Jeremy Martin, 29
Founder, Loaded Athletics
Life Story: Growing up in Kelowna, Jeremy Martin played sports around the clock, moving seamlessly from football to basketball to rugby. But Martin, who began lifting weights in his physician father’s basement gym when he was 12, started to realize that he liked the training aspect more than the games themselves. “By the end of the basketball season, I was looking forward to rugby starting, because I could transition to a new training phase and get prepared for that sport,” he remembers.
Martin ended up going to Vancouver for a diploma in human kinetics at Capilano University, where he met his future wife, Tara. The couple would eventually transfer to UBC together (where Martin got both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in HKin). He spent some time as a competitive weightlifter before the two followed their dream of opening their own gym, focused on barbell training, at Kingsway and Knight Street. Loaded Athletics is based on “showing people what their bodies can do, not how they can look,” says Martin, who notes that his clientele is 60- to 70-percent female. “It’s been really amazing for me to see that people come to us because they see how strong our female representation is.”
Bottom Line: Just over 1,200 square feet, Loaded Athletics opened in February 2019 and sees an average of close to 110 customers a week. During COVID-19 the gym is offering virtual sessions.